T Nation

A Newb Question about 'Intensity' and...

Hello all! I’ve been lurking T-Nation for a while now, reading all of the standard articles and generally trying to absorb as much information as possible. I figured it’s about time I officially joined up.

My stats as of today (04/15/2009):
-Sex: Male
-Age: 22
-Height: 6’ 1.5"
-Weight: 190 lbs
-BF %: 20-25% (my best educated guess; obtaining some calipers soon)

Current goal: I want to be around 205 lbs, lean, with the strength to go with it. In time I will likely want to grow more, but for now, I see that as an attainable goal within the next year.

Monday I began the Starting Strength program. So far so good. I believe my form to be pretty spot on with all the lifts; hopefully I can get some videos up soon for critique. My only question in regards to training, as a newb, is amount of weight I’m using / should be using. On squat, for example, I started with 135 lbs. I definitely felt it the next day, but it was by no means incredibly taxing during the actual workout. The program mentions 10 lb. increments workout to workout, until you start slowing, and then add less and less as difficulty dictates. I’m nervous about stalling out too quickly, so would I be doing myself a disservice by only increasing by five pounds each session right now?

As far as my diet goes, it’s a mess. As a college student, my diet definitely fits the typical profile: assorted junk, with lots of beer on the weekends. Even worse than the content of the diet though is intake… there are days I’d be surprised if I managed to hit 2000 calories. So, for now, I’m really only concerned with getting the 7 Habits down, and trying to hit 2500 calories a day for this first week or two and see how my body deals with the changes, and go from there.

My diet question is this: whats the low down on beans/lentils/legumes? I originally read that they were a good subsitute for caloric density once you cut out a lot of the shitty carbs, and also a decent source of protein, so I bought a few bags (black beans, pinto, lentils, etc). But a few days ago I read a thread on here that said they were possibly bad for human consumption? Decreasing T production and increasing estrogen production?

Any insights are welcome, and I definitely look forward to hitting my goals and participating here :slight_smile: Thanks a bunch!

For increasing the weight, I always increased by 5 lbs each session (I did Starting Strength for 5 months, just switched off it last week). I stalled after a month, but reset and gained again, stalled, reset, stalled, etc. The main thing is that you add weight for as long as you can. If you can add 10 lbs, good. I couldn’t do that except for my first few deadlift sessions. Even adding only 5 lbs per session is 15 lbs a week. Good progress. You will stall, don’t worry about it.

I say if you feel you can add 10 lbs a session for a even a short time, do it. It’s faster progress. Also, progress is faster when you eat more than you burn… From what you say, you really can’t eat a caloric surplus, so your progress will suffer. Try to eat as much as you can. A plus though, you more than likely won’t get fatter with your limited calorie intake.

I started out very similar to you (5 months ago I was 6 ft 1 180 lbs.). I did Starting Strength and now im 225 lbs and a lot bigger/stronger. Good luck, I hope you can do as well as I did or better.